MOSCOW – Witnesses and aviation experts are in agreement saying it was a missile that shot down Maylaysia Flight 17 on Thursday that killed all 283 passengers aboard including 154 Dutch nationals, three infants and 15 crew members.
An eyewitness to the crash, Andrey Tarasenko was walking home from work when he saw a white trail of smoke rise from the ground and then seconds later heard the explosion saying he was at least 10 miles away from the crash.
“You know how you see a trail from a plane — it was the same, but it was a missile launched from the ground,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Ukraine’s renewal of military action in southeast Ukraine for the plane crash.
In an early morning statement from the Kremlin on Friday, Putin said “This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine. And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy”
In a Russian version of Facebook known as VK.com, self-proclaimed defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Igor Girkin posted a message saying, “We did warn you – do not fly in our sky,” he wrote.
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said the plane crash was an act of terrorism. During a televised address in Ukraine the president said “I would like to draw your attention that we do not call it an incident, not a disaster, but we call it a terrorist act,” Poroshenko said.
Poroshenko also uploaded a statement to his official YouTube account saying, “Unfortunately, today's tragedy proved one more time that terrorism is not a local, but a global problem and the external aggression against Ukraine is not just our problem, but is a threat to European and global security."
Meanwhile pro-Russian separatists are denying any responsibility for shooting down Malaysia Flight 17 who Interfax news agency said had found the “black box” flight recorder.